Armenia says soldier killed by Azerbaijani sniper at border

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YEREVAN, Armenia: The Armenian Defense Ministry said one of its soldiers was shot and killed Monday by an Azerbaijan sniper at the countries' border, but Azerbaijan denied it.

The Armenian soldier was serving near the village of Berd, about 210 kilometers (130 miles) northeast of the capital Yerevan, when he was shot in the head, a Defense Ministry statement said. He died en route to a hospital, it said.

Azerbaijani military spokesman Ramiz Melikov said Azerbaijani forces had not violated a 1994 cease-fire, unlike, he said, Armenia.

"Having occupied our lands, they have begun an undeclared war against the Azerbaijani people and are trying to blame us," Melikov told The Associated Press.

On Friday, Azerbaijani officials accused Armenian forces of killing an Azerbaijani soldier near Nagorno-Karabakh — a disputed mountainous territory inside Azerbaijan that is controlled by Karabakh and Armenian forces, along with some surrounding areas. Today in Europe Scavengers on U.K. coast pluck at ship's cargo EU sees hope for Western ties in Serbia's election results Germany proposes that EU limit cellphone roaming charges Click here to find out more!

Six years of fighting over Nagorno-Karabakh ended in a shaky cease-fire in 1994, with 30,000 people killed and about 1 million driven from their homes.

Gunfire breaks out regularly along the border between the two ex-Soviet countries and in the regions near Nagorno-Karabakh.

Repeated efforts by international mediators, including the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe,to resolve the territory's status have failed, and the lack of resolution has tied up development in the strategic and energy-rich South Caucasus region.

In Baku, Azerbaijan, before a meeting between the country's foreign minister and an OSCE envoy, President Ilham Aliev again accused Armenia of dragging out negotiations over Nagorno-Karabakh.

"Azerbaijan's territorial integrity was not, is not and will never be a subject for discussions," he said in televised comments. "Azeri

Source: http://www.iht.com/articles/ap/2007/01/22/europe/EU-GEN-Armenia-Azerbaijan.php




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